This Land Is Mine

I envisioned This Land Is Mine as the last scene of my potential-possible-maybe- feature film, Seder-Masochism, but it’s the first (and so far only) scene I’ve animated. As the Bible says, “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”

This Land Is Mine from Nina Paley on Vimeo.

Who’s Killing Who? A Viewer’s Guide

Because you can’t tell the players without a pogrom!

Early Man

 

Early Man
This generic “cave man” represents the first human settlers in Israel/Canaan/the Levant. Whoever they were.

Canaanite

 

 

Canaanite
What did ancient Canaanites look like? I don’t know, so this is based on ancient Sumerian art.

Ancient Egyptian

 

 

Egyptian
Canaan was located between two huge empires. Egypt controlled it sometimes, and…

Assyrian

 

 

Assyrian
….Assyria controlled it other times.

Israelite

 

 

Israelite
The “Children of Israel” conquered the shit out of the region, according to bloody and violent Old Testament accounts.

Babylonian

 

 

Babylonian
Then the Baylonians destroyed their temple and took the Hebrews into exile.

Macedonian/Alexander

 

 

 

Macedonian/Greek
Here comes Alexander the Great, conquering everything!

Greek

 

 

Greek/Macedonian
No sooner did Alexander conquer everything, than his generals divided it up and fought with each other.

Ptolmaic

 

 

Ptolemaic
Greek descendants of Ptolemy, another of Alexander’s competing generals, ruled Egypt dressed like Egyptian god-kings. (The famous Cleopatra of western mythology and Hollywood was a Ptolemy.)

Seleucid

 

 

Seleucid
More Greek-Macedonian legacies of Alexander.

 

Hebrew Priest

Hebrew Priest
This guy didn’t fight, he just ran the Second Temple re-established by Hebrews in Jerusalem after the Babylonian Exile.

Maccabee

Maccabee
Led by Judah “The Hammer” Maccabee, who fought the Seleucids, saved the Temple, and invented Channukah. Until…

 

Roman

 

Roman
….the Romans destroyed the Second Temple and absorbed the region into the Roman Empire…

Byzantine

 

 

Byzantine
….which split into Eastern and Western Empires. The eastern part was called the Byzantine Empire. I don’t know if “Romans” ever fought “Byzantines” (Eastern Romans) but this is a cartoon.

 

Caliph

 

 

Arab Caliph
Speaking of cartoon, what did an Arab Caliph look like? This was my best guess.

Crusader

 

 

Crusader
After Crusaders went a-killin’ in the name of Jesus Christ, they established Crusader states, most notably the Kingdom of Jerusalem.

Egyptian Mamluk

 

 

Mamluk of Egypt
Wikipedia sez, “Over time, mamluks became a powerful military caste in various Muslim societies…In places such as Egypt from the Ayyubid dynasty to the time of Muhammad Ali of Egypt, mamluks were considered to be “true lords”, with social status above freeborn Muslims.[7]” And apparently they controlled Palestine for a while.

 

Ottoman Turk

 

Ottoman Turk
Did I mention this is a cartoon? Probably no one went to battle looking like this. But big turbans, rich clothing and jewelry seemed to be in vogue among Ottoman Turkish elites, according to paintings I found on the Internet.

Arab

 

 

Arab
A gross generalization of a generic 19-century “Arab”.

 

British

British
The British formed alliances with Arabs, then occupied Palestine. This cartoon is an oversimplification, and uses this British caricature as a stand-in for Europeans in general.

Palestinian

 

 

Palestinian
The British occupied this guy’s land, only to leave it to a vast influx of….

European Jew/Zionist

 

European Jew/Zionist
Desperate and traumatized survivors of European pogroms and death camps, Jewish Zionist settlers were ready to fight to the death for a place to call home, but…

Hezbollah

 

 

PLO/Hamas/Hezbollah
….so were the people that lived there. Various militarized resistance movements arose in response to Israel: The Palestinian Liberation Organization, Hamas, and Hezbollah.

State of Israel

 


 

Guerrilla/Freedom Fighter/TerroristState of Israel
Backed by “the West,” especially the US, they got lots of weapons and the only sanctioned nukes in the region.

 

Guerrilla/Freedom Fighter/Terrorist
Sometimes people fight in military uniforms, sometimes they don’t. Creeping up alongside are illicit nukes possibly from Iran or elsewhere in the region. Who’s Next?

Angel of Death

 

 

 

and finally…

The Angel of Death
The real hero of the Old Testament, and right now too.

 

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854 comments to This Land Is Mine

  • Bob Sekhon

    Nina has done a brilliant job. Alexandra Hopkins is correct and this clip should be compulsory viewing by every person in the whole of the Middle East and especially the people of Palestine and Israel. If people are not willing to forget the past and start afresh, there can be no lasting peace. The minor omissions/missing participants in the historical message are minor issues but the overall message is clear. STOP NOW BEFORE IT BECOMES IRREVERSABLE!

  • Anonymous

    I am an american Jew and a staunch supporter of Israel. That being said I would like to say that I’m appalled by some of the other “pro-israel” comments here.

    1. If you view this video, which simply portrays the history of the conquerers of the land, as delegitimizing/anti-Israel you are an idiot. If you do not have the knowledge and education to defend Israel’s right to existence without being an historical revisionist or religious extremist, you are no asset to the pro-israel side, rather you are simply biased, ignorant and should not speak.

    2. I dont understand all of the comments about the zionist movement being well underway prior to WWII. Unless i am very well mistaken the point of this video is not to give an accurate census of all the groups living in the area during the ruling period, rather its depicting who ruled the land. Claiming that jews maintained a presence during all of the conquerers post biblical Israel, has nothing to do with who ruled this land and this video.

  • Professor

    Besides congratulating you on your great work, my one hope is that those who watch this video might get its core message: That violence will NOT bring about a solution, only death to everybody. Just as the Nazis were monstrous and mistaken in believing that killing all the Jews was possible and justified, so we should learn from history that “killing the others” never works, the longest duration fuel is hate, if you kill someone his descendants will come to avenge them and kill you, and then your descendants will go and kill theirs and so on and on forever. Enough with all “religions” that say that killing others is right, any “religion” that says that is immoral and criminal by definition. And also, although it will require an EXTREME effort on the aggrieved (and the ones who believe themselves to be so) to achieve it, peace WILL demand forgetfullness and pardon, for if we keep justifying war based on past mistakes and errors and crimes, we´ll never start a clean slate, we´ll never be able to break this odious chain of hatred and grievances. Every piece of land we live on today, was once the “property” of others, and heaven or hell knows how our forefathers won it. Our common past is full of blood and hate and suffering, and only if we are strong enough to forget and forgive and start a new world, we´ll never break free from it. Peace to all, don´t try to prove your side is right, but try to prove your side wants peace for real – it´s our only hope.

  • […] “This Land Is Mine“, an animated video by Nina Paley, to Ernest Gold and Pat Boone’s “The Exodus Song” sung by Andy Williams; “A brief history of the land called Israel/Palestine/Canaan/the Levant.” Also, see Who’s Killing Who? A Viewer’s Guide: Because you can’t tell the players without a … […]

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